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America's Crisis in Governance, 2001-2008

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Back to The Signposts Timeline 2001 AD-Present...

Though there were signs of problems from the beginning with the new Presidential Administration in the USA earlier in 2001, the most disturbing disclosures only began coming to light in the wake of the 9-11-01 terrorist attacks on the USA's World Trade Center and Pentagon

Fuel-laden and passenger-filled commercial airliners are hijacked and directed as makeshift bombs into both towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, and the Pentagon in Washington DC on 9-11-01.

Both WTC towers, two of the tallest skyscrapers in the world at this time, are completely demolished, while the Pentagon bears much less damage.

In terms of property damage and loss of life, the strikes are comparable to various natural and man-made disasters of the past, suffered by many nations. But in terms of global political, economic, and military perspectives, the strikes may be on par with the significance of historic events like the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in WW II.

During the attack and immediately after, both land-based telephone and cell phone networks in USAmerica were overwhelmed with traffic, becoming unavailable to many users. However, internet-based phone calls, email, and instant messaging held up under the load in most cases.

The internet was not wholly immune to the traffic effects though; in various 'choke-points' of centralized web servers like those of CNN and the BBC, those servers failed as millions of visitors sought information simultaneously. Fortunately, a multitude of lesser known web sites on the internet were able to provide the information people were looking for.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: In my own case [J.R.], Dave Winer's Scripting News became the premier source of fast breaking info on the disaster. END NOTE.

-- Internet aids US disaster communications by Will Knight, Special: Terrorist attack on America, 13 September 01, New Scientist

In the aftermath of the attacks, American media and government officials were assaulted with anonymous mailings of anthrax spores.

Apparently the original source of the anthrax used in the mailings was USAmerica's own biological weapons stocks from the 1960s.

The anthrax bacteria which bedeviled the USA on the heels of the 9-11-01 attacks apparently came or was derived from the USA's own original biological weapons stocks from the 1960s (the anthrax development program ended in 1969). The particular type used in the attacks is known as the Ames strain.

The main US stocks were destroyed after 1969, but samples were kept and distributed for various reasons.

-- Anthrax bacteria likely to be US military strain by Debora MacKenzie; 24 October 01; New Scientist; newscientist.com

Though the anthrax mailings were almost completely medically ineffectual (causing very few deaths or even serious illnesses), they were in their own way as successful in alarming many citizens as the previous airliner hijackings.

Despite the fact that US security and intelligence agencies before the attack already possessed such wide-ranging surveillance powers over America itself as to likely know the results of the average person's most recent medical tests, as well as a detailed list of everywhere they'd traveled and everything they'd bought every day for the last several years, these same agencies provided no warning whatsoever to the public of these terrorist attacks.

"Our Department of Defense...our FBI...our CIA...our FAA...the INS...I mean, every three-letter acronym in Washington, DC, where there's billions of dollars being spent, was defeated on 11 September, and defeated absolutely utterly...It wasn't even a close call"

-- Former Democratic senator Bob Kerrey, and member of the Sept. 11 commission Yahoo! News - Sept. 11 commission criticizes US agencies' handling of attacks; AFP; Apr 04, 2004; story.news.yahoo.com

"The privacy war is over--you lost"

-- The privacy blitz is coming By Brock Meeks, MSNBC, April 6, 2001; http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/comment/0,5859,2705181,00.html

-- All That Data, All That Secrecy by Will Rodger; Mar. 14, 2001; Wired Digital Inc.

Seven organizations in europe devoted to advocating civil liberties and privacy point out in an open letter that even the secret and highly intrusive Echelon system previously in operation did not provide a warning of the terrorist attacks of 9-11-01. It only threatens the rights of citizens rather than helping prevent terrorist attacks. Giving new surveillance powers to intelligence and police agencies is not the way to protect against terrorism, but only a way to further impinge upon individual rights.

Echelon is a secret global spy network partly operated by the US NSA (National Security Agency), according to the European Parliament and other sources.

-- Euro civil liberty campaigners urge restraint By Joris Evers; Cable News Network; November 4, 2001

-- EIGHTEEN GUYS WHO SHOOK THE WORLD By Ted Rall; Yahoo news; September 20, 2001

Despite the fact that the civil liberties and rights and personal privacy of American citizens had been steadily eroded by growing police powers for decades previous, to the point that innocent citizens were being increasingly harassed, injured, and even killed, with their property sometimes seized to fill government coffers due to abuses of 'drug war' laws, law enforcement agencies nationwide were powerless to stop the terrorist assault.

"Our Department of Defense...our FBI...our CIA...our FAA...the INS...I mean, every three-letter acronym in Washington, DC, where there's billions of dollars being spent, was defeated on 11 September, and defeated absolutely utterly...It wasn't even a close call"

-- Former Democratic senator Bob Kerrey, and member of the Sept. 11 commission Yahoo! News - Sept. 11 commission criticizes US agencies' handling of attacks; AFP; Apr 04, 2004; story.news.yahoo.com

-- frontline: drug wars: special reports: Reining in Forfeiture: Common Sense Reform in the War on Drugs by Kyla Dunn; pbs online and wgbh/frontline; found on or about 11-27-01

Michael Bradbury, the DA of Ventura County [apparently in California] stated that a police raid involving two dozen various law enforcement personnel which led to the shooting death of retiree Don Scott in 1992 was at least partly motivated by the officers' desires to seize Scott's ranch for government coffers. The police claimed they were looking for marijuana on the land but none was ever found.

-- The Looting Of America by Jarret Wollstein, found on or about 11-27-01

-- EIGHTEEN GUYS WHO SHOOK THE WORLD By Ted Rall; Yahoo news; September 20, 2001

Despite the fact America today is without doubt the world's only superpower, with a military force unmatched anywhere on Earth, that same military-- and its devastating arsenal of nuclear missiles-- was utterly impotent to prevent these terrorist attacks.

"Nineteen men with 350,000 dollars defeated every single defensive mechanism we had up on the 11th of September, 2001, and they defeated it utterly"

-- Former Democratic senator Bob Kerrey, and member of the Sept. 11 commission Yahoo! News - Sept. 11 commission criticizes US agencies' handling of attacks; AFP; Apr 04, 2004; story.news.yahoo.com

The USA in 2000 had over 200,000 troops spread across at least 70 different countries, and enjoyed virtually uncontested military superiority worldwide on land, in the air, and both atop and under the sea, as well as in space. The USA enjoyed more military superiority over its enemies in 2000 than the Roman Empire did at its peak-- indeed, more than any other nation at any other time in recorded history.

America currently spends three times more on its military than Russia and China put together. More than the next 12 biggest defense spending nations on Earth, combined. Indeed, the Pentagon itself has pleaded with executives and legislators to be allowed to close down bases it no longer needs or wants, as well as cancel expensive development projects which seem to be going nowhere, like the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, only to see such requests denied, time and time again. Retired Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney estimates at least $30 billion a year of the US defense budget is being unnecessarily wasted on relatively small ticket items alone (this figure does not include expensive projects like the V-22 Osprey).

Despite all this, the US military is often claimed to be in sorry shape by various politicians and their supporters when a new American election cycle rolls around.

-- The myth of the hollow military. Apocryphal Now By GREGG EASTERBROOK Issue date: 09.11.00; Post date: 08.31.00; The New Republic

-- No challenge to US; Daily Mail & Guardian Editorial, September 14, 2001

In the wake of the attacks, US leadership apparently decides one of the best ways to protect against future terrorist attacks is to strip American citizens of still more of their civil liberties and freedoms, vastly expand surveillance upon citizens, and give police and intelligence agencies enormously expanded powers over the American public. They also decide to build new and more expensive missile systems that will have precisely the same effect as the old on terrorist acts like those of 9-11-01: utter impotence. Even worse, the new missiles will not protect us against ballistic missiles fired by hostiles either (their claimed purpose). To pay for all this they apparently plan to spend the retirement savings of the American people, as well as return to the days of chronic budget deficits, high inflation, and high interest rates.

-- Deficits as Far as the Eye Can See; Businessweek

-- Bush's Big ABM Blunder By Stan Crock; Edited by Douglas Harbrecht; BusinessWeek Online; The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. ; JANUARY 17, 2002

Some well respected scientists in the US oppose the building of a national missile defense system, on the grounds that the planned system would not work. Counter-measures to the system could be readily used by hostiles to render it impotent. There's a wide array of counter-measures available to defeat such a system.

The defense system is meant to protect only against accidental missile firings and attacks from "rogue" states. All out missile attacks from a country like Russia would easily overwhelm the system by numbers alone.

Deployment of 100 interceptors is expected to cost at minimum $30+ billion, through 2026.

-- U.S. Scientists Urge Against Missile Defense System By David Storey; April 11, 2000; Reuters/Yahoo!

USAmerica's European allies are concerned the proposed new missile defense system could unravel western alliances and various arms control treaties worldwide. A new, worldwide arms race might also result.

President Ronald Reagan's attempts to build a similar system in the 1980s failed.

-- Star Wars Plan Alarms U.S. Allies And Rivals By Jonathan Wright; Reuters/Yahoo! Politics Headlines; December 8 1999

Critics of the proposed missile defense system point out that the real threats to national security are mostly low technology-based, such as truck bombs, suicide bombers, airplane hijackings, and distribution of biological agents like anthrax.

So far testing of the missile defense systems under consideration has not been performed under realistic conditions.

-- Missile Test Interceptor Scores Hit Over Pacific By Bradley Graham; Washington Post; December 4, 2001; Page A04

Various means of everyday transport such as airplanes, trucks, and ships are more likely to be used in terrorist attacks than missiles, according to the CIA circa 2002. Indeed, these other means of transport may rightfully be regarded by terrorists as more reliable and accurate than missiles for delivering weapons of mass destruction. They are also much cheaper and easier to obtain/develop than ICBMs, and their true source or responsible parties more easily hidden or disguised.

Atop all these advantages is yet another one: avoiding use of an ICBM would also neatly bypass any and all missile defenses the USA might have now, or set up in the future.

The nations deemed most likely to be the source of an ICBM attack on the USA between now and 2015 are Iran and North Korea. Another possible (but less likely) source would be Iraq. Intelligence resources disagree on whether any ICBM risk from Iraq will come to fruition prior to 2015. Also, North Korea has stated it would postpone development of long range missiles so long as various negotiations with the US continue.

Israel, Russia, and China all have nuclear weapons and various means to deliver them which could put the US at risk, but Israel is regarded as an ally, launches from Russia would appear only likely as isolated accidents (and even that risk seems slight), and the US does not believe nuclear exchanges between it and China are likely to occur before 2015.

-- U.S. Alters Estimate Of Threats By Walter Pincus; The Washington Post; January 11, 2002; Page A01

US intelligence agencies suddenly changed their assessments of long range missile risks from hostile states in 1999, to beyond the entities of China and Russia, adding North Korea and Iran to the list. There is evidence that the change in assessment was at least partly brought about by pressures from Congressional Republicans, backed by Israel. Iranian missiles definitely posed a threat to Israel-- so it was in Israel's interest to make the US see them as a threat to American soil, too. Plus, Republicans wanted to bolster American public support for building a missile defense system. Republican representatives like Curt Weldon openly admit to their role in the change of assessments.

One result of this politicization of the estimate is that 'worst-case scenarios' end up being presented as likely events, leading to excessive military buildups for threats which do not truly exist. Witness the huge latter stages of the Cold War build up against the Soviet Union, a nation which during the late eighties was actually weakening to the point that it would collapse altogether by 1991.

-- How Politics Helped Redefine Threat By Michael Dobbs; The Washington Post; January 14, 2002; Page A01 [Article two of two]and other sources

Weapons experts advise the technologies required to make a missile defense system work are simply not available at this time. And the proposed timetable of having a few interceptors in operation by 2005 is not realistic.

-- U.S. Missile Shield Technology Far From Ready By Christopher Wilson; Reuters/Yahoo!; December 7, 1999

Some estimates place the cost of the proposed missile defense system at $60 billion.

-- U.S. Antimissile Plan Hit With One-Two Punch By Jim Wolf; June 12, 2000; Yahoo!/Reuters

USAmerica's own intelligence agencies predict China will increase its nuclear arsenal in response to deployment of a new US national missile defense system.

The plans call for $60 billion to be spent to construct 20 "interceptors" by 2005 in Alaska, eventually going up to 100 later on. Missiles from Iraq, Iran, and North Korea are frequently cited as the most likely threats to be countered with the system, through 2015.

Two thirds of tests of the system-in-development have been failures.

The system might not be ready by 2005. US intelligence expects North Korea to provide a credible nuclear missile threat to the US by 2005 or earlier, although that threat might evaporate if North Korea were to stop missile testing now. North Korea has offered to do just that if another country would launch satellites for it (so it would no longer require its own rockets for satellite launches). But this offer is apparently being ignored by the US and others.

-- U.S. Intelligence Assesses Global NMD Reaction By Tabassum Zakaria; Reuters/Yahoo! Top Stories Headlines; August 8, 2000

The missile defense system will need help from many quarters to do its job, according to the general in charge of the project. Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish says multiple layers of systems will be required, possibly including not just $30-$60 billion worth of interceptors in Alaska, but interceptors on navy ships at sea as well.

-- U.S. General: Missile Defense Must Be Layered By Christopher Wilson; Yahoo!/Reuters; February 28, 2000

The estimated costs associated with the proposed missile defense system seem to be going up. Previous estimates were as low as $12.7 billion, but have now been raised by the Pentagon to $30.2 billion or more.

-- U.S. Senators Concerned by Missile Defense Costs By John Whitesides; Reuters/Yahoo!; April 12, 2000

At least one portion of the national missile defense system under development is far behind schedule and substantially over budget. Namely, the SBIRS-High (Space-Based Infrared System-High). The SBIRS-High would provide the early warning of a missile attack required for the defense system to work. It now appears the SBIRS-High will not be functional until 2009 at the earliest.

The Pentagon is pressing ahead with the rest of the system regardless, figuring to somehow use existing, older technologies to be the 'eyes' of the defense system (although those too appear to be problem-prone).

-- Part of Missile Defense System Over Budget -WSJ; Reuters/Yahoo! Politics Headlines; November 16, 2001

-- "Bush Plan Cuts Social Security Benefits"; America's Future: Articles: Chart, with guide, explaining benefit cuts under Bush by the Institute for America’s Future; 4/15/02; citing the Chief Actuary's analysis of the Bush Commission plans (p.78)

The US government now appears it will be mired in budget deficits at least through 2005, if not longer, according to a National Press Club speech by President Bush's budget director, Mitch Daniels.

Daniels says the deficits should be handled by cutting the budgets of social programs, and forcing annual Congressional votes (and opportunities for more cuts) even for the continuing operation of programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

-- Media War Horses Aim for the Front Lines By Howard Kurtz; Washington Post; November 30, 2001

At the same time they're planning to cut the budgets of social programs and buy more from the military industrial complex in general, the US Administration also intends to boost the profit margins of defense contractors to perhaps something far beyond the present 15%.

According to the article cited pharmaceutical companies dislike undertaking projects which may not generate at least 45% margins for them.

-- Pentagon to boost profits of defense contractors; April 24, 2002; Reuters Limited

President Bush's commission on Social Security recommends the government change the way it calculates benefits for future retirees. If these recommendations are adopted, future retirees will find themselves suffering a smaller real income from SS than present retirees do. If past historical trends continue into future decades, it appears this calculation change could eventually push some future retirees into poverty, as their adjusted SS benefits will no longer keep up with general wage increases in the economy, as present benefits do.

Another recommendation would reduce future real monthly SS payments still more, to account for increases in average life expectancy.

-- Investments Called 'Central' to Social Security Health By Amy Goldstein Washington Post, December 11, 2001; Page A04

Social Security benefits may be being reduced annually now in a subtle way: the government has changed its measurement of the CPI (consumer price index), which makes for smaller inflation numbers. Since annual Social Security cost of living changes are indexed to the CPI, the new measurement method insures that those increases are smaller than they would have been before the change was instituted. If the change means Social Security hikes are now consistently smaller than the true rate of inflation, then Social Security payments are gradually getting smaller and smaller in terms of real value.

-- ECONOMICS REPORTING REVIEW: The NYT and the Washington Post Under the Microscope [possibly by Dean Baker] Week of October 28 - November 3 (found on or about 11-5-00) [TOMPAINE.com: ECONOMICS REPORTING REVIEW may be the original link], citing "As Social Security's Finances Improve, Some See Fix as Premature," by John M. Berry, the Washington Post, October 29, 2000, page H1, and "Gore and Bush Clashing on Social Security," by Richard W. Stevenson, the New York Times, November 2, 2000, page A21

The US legislative branch, in an apparent panic, passes at least one measure which likely would never have made it past a calmer and more composed body. The new bill effectively regresses the system of American governance back to an earlier age, where law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and the presidency possessed vastly greater powers over the average American citizen. Only with modern technology, such powers will be much more effective and pervasive than they could ever have been in decades past.

It appears the US legislative process failed during the recent passage of the anti-terror bill. And the nation will probably regret this failure in the long term. Apparently Congress was too fearful of another terrorist strike to adequately perform their legal duties here. Much of the bill was passed without the members even having read it.

The new law throws the judicial system and its oversight out of the loop for many critical procedures, and makes historic changes in other government processes as well. The bill seems to be overzealous in its efforts to combat terrorism, and thereby possibly creates new and unnecessary dangers to society as a byproduct.

-- A Panicky Bill (washingtonpost.com); October 26, 2001; Page A34

-- Freedom flees in terror from Sept. 11 disaster By Paul McMasters; pmcmasters@freedomforum.org; Ombudsman; First Amendment Center; 09.19.01

-- U.S. On Verge Of 'Electronic Martial Law' - Researcher By Kevin Featherly, Newsbytes; http://www.newsbytes.com; 15 Oct 2001

-- Security vs. Civil Liberties By Mike France, Heather Green, Jim Kerstetter, and Dan Carney; BusinessWeek Online; The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.; OCTOBER 1, 2001

A gargantuan new intelligence collection system is being born from recent passage of the anti-terrorism bill. The FBI's main priority will no longer be bringing criminals to justice, but rather collecting intelligence within the borders of the US. The Treasury Department will collect financial intelligence (like the banking activities of Americans), and provide it to the CIA. The CIA will also now have some say in FBI operations.

The bill looks to remove many of the safeguards put in place after Watergate against abuses of presidential power, in matters like using intelligence resources against political activists.

-- An Intelligence Giant in the Making (washingtonpost.com) By Jim McGee Washington Post; November 4, 2001; Page A04

-- Ashcroft's power grab brings Joe McCarthy to mind

Can the US executive branch be trusted to use such vastly expanded powers responsibly? Trusted not to abuse them by using them against political opponents and activists here in our own country? Equipped with similar powers, Republican President Richard Nixon proved himself incapable of resisting such temptation, as was uncovered in the Watergate hearings.

-- A Test of Government's Trustworthiness (washingtonpost.com) By Bob Woodward; October 25, 2001; Page A31

Alas, there are indications the current administration may be even more vulnerable to such abuses than the Nixon Administration. As they already seem to be restricting the travel of American political activists who have expressed opposition to the war or possibly disagreed with the Administration on other matters. Other troubling signs are appearing as well-- such as White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer's statement that "Americans ... need to watch what they say...".

-- Green Party USA Coordinator Detained at Airport; Prevented by Armed Military Personnel from Flying to Political Meeting in Chicago, CounterPunch Wire; November 2, 2001

In some cases high school students, priests, and nuns who wish to travel to join in peaceful protests are being significantly delayed or prohibited from such activities by government constraints on their freedom to fly to their destinations.

-- Are You on the No Fly List? by Matthew Rothschild; McCarthyism Watch; April 27, 2002; The Progressive

Chicago is initiating a new policy: having reporters fingerprinted.

-- Press Pass? I'll Pass BY WENDY COLE; Currents: Access ; Cjr.org; May/June 2002; found on or about 6-5-02

-- Press freedom being tested by Bush Administration's anti-terrorist policy; 05.23.2002; Reporters Without Borders

-- GOP Monitoring Lobbyists' Politics (washingtonpost.com) By Jim VandeHei; June 10, 2002; Page A01

-- RNC Targets Liberal Interest Groups (washingtonpost.com)

-- The GOP's Wacky War on Dem Lobbyists; Businessweek

"He did nothing to warn the American people because he needed this war on terrorism...His daddy had Saddam and he needed Osama. His presidency was going nowhere..." -- Lt. Col. Steve Butler, US Air Force

-- Air Force colonel suspended after bad-mouthing Bush By KIM CURTIS Associated Press/The Sacramento Bee; June 4, 2002

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, US Republican president, 1918

-- http://www.americanpresident.org/kotrain/courses/TR/TR_In_His_Own_Words.htm

-- White House whitewashers By Jake Tapper; Salon.com; Sept. 27, 2001

Ari Fleischer's stunning comment was missing from the official transcript afterwards, though the White House said that was due to an error. As of October 4th however the transcript still hadn't been corrected.

-- Spin-Off by Ryan Lizza; The New Republic; Posted date 10.04.01; Issued date 10.15.01

-- Rhetoric Check By Josh Gerstein; Oct. 11, 2001

Of course, the panic and fear observed in lawmakers and the public during the time was at least partially due to the media hyping up the crisis for reasons of ratings, and to statements of various government officials themselves, who in some cases may have been purposely trying to scare folks into passing new laws with minimal consideration of their consequences.

Would the major corporate media have plausible incentives to play up the dangers of a given crisis in order to increase ratings? Of course! Ratings are what determine their profits or losses in selling commercial airtime.

-- Bad News Sparks Good News Ratings By Richard Williamson; Interactive Week; Ziff Davis Media Inc.; October 22, 2001

Some mental health experts believe the 9-11-01 terrorist attacks, subsequent anthrax mailings, and repeated warnings from authorities that more attacks might be coming had many Americans on the verge of hysteria during the period. Too much uncertainty helps contribute to panic, by fueling rumors and unusual behavior.

The major news media and Attorney General Ashcroft both seemed to stoke public fears more than necessary or advisible during the period. Statements from government officials in general were often inconsistent and confusing, which also helped amplify public fear.

Immediate offerings of the truth can dispell rumors.

The Bush Administration's frequent alerts to the public to maintain vigilance were excessive, and risked causing large negative effects in public behavior.

-- That Way Madness Lies (washingtonpost.com) By Don Oldenburg Washington Post; October 19, 2001; Page C01

Perhaps some of the most frightening things to emerge from the events are how easily and rapidly the US government can not only shred the civil liberties of its own citizens, but also begin seriously considering the use of torture and worse to force possibly innocent prisoners to 'talk'. Keep in mind we're not talking about people tried and convicted of a crime here, but only suspects, maybe suspected only of witnessing something-- and for which there may be no more evidence than someone else simply making claims about them.

At least one prisoner of the masses currently being detained, whom even the government says probably was guilty of no more than an expired visa, has already died of "unknown causes".

The US government as of 10-21-01 had four particular prisoners that were suspected of having valuable information regarding the events of 9-11-01 and possible other terrorist attacks, but were not divulging any useful information, no matter what sort of rewards they were being offered. Officials are considering the use of drugs and various pressure tactics on the prisoners. Beyond that, they might extradite the prisoners to other countries where actual torture or threats to families are the norm. Things like torture of suspects is supposed to be illegal in the US.

There seems to be no consideration of the idea that these people (or one of them at least) may not know anything to tell investigators. Keep in mind that as the drag net widens, you or I too could find ourselves in the same predicament as these four suspects. Only we definitely would have nothing to tell. Would we be shipped to a banana republic by the FBI and tortured for our innocence?

Much of the new anti-terror laws recently rammed through Congress would make American citizens just as vulnerable to the alarming new reductions in civil liberties and rights in our system as foreigners.

-- Silence of 4 Terror Probe Suspects Poses Dilemma (washingtonpost.com) By Walter Pincus; October 21, 2001; Page A06, and other sources

As of 10-24-01 at least one apparently innocent man has died of "unknown causes" in a US jail, after being detained in the wide ranging roundup of foreign born people after the 9-11-01 terrorist attacks. The man was a 55 year old Pakistani, whom officials now say had no discernable links to the attacks, but did have an expired visa.

-- Investigation: Detained man dies in jail; October 24, 2001; Cable News Network

President Bush is assuming what are essentially dictatorial powers on the advice of his panicked attorney general.

-- Seizing Dictatorial Power by William Safire; www.commondreams.org; December 13, 2001 [November 15, 2001 in the New York Times)

State governments want to follow Washington's lead by increasing their own surveillance on citizens.

-- A Wiretap In Every Home (washingtonpost.com) By Richard Cohen; The Washington Post; January 10, 2002; Page A19

Whether they realize it or not, the US leadership of the time is apparently doing what the terrorists wanted but could not achieve on their own-- make American citizens feel as scared and powerless in their own land as the terrorists felt in their native countries (countries which are typically harsh non-democratic police states which do not allow free speech or many other civil liberties within their borders, and may also torture prisoners).

As scary as it sounds, it's up to common US citizens to prevent the government from going too far in restricting civil liberties-- especially in time of war. American history indicates the Supreme Court will do little or nothing to oppose the executive branch without substantial support from Congress. And Congress rarely steps up to the plate either, in such times.

-- What Is The Constitution's Role In Wartime? Why Free Speech And Other Rights Are Not As Safe As You Might Think By SANFORD LEVINSON; FindLaw, Oct. 17, 2001

Apparently even the Bush Administration and US intelligence agencies themselves believe all the enormous new spending on defense and the historic reduction of American civil liberties in the aftermath of 9-11-01 will not stop terrorism, or perhaps even reduce the risk of future death tolls. Indeed, people like Tom Ridge are saying the risk of terrorism may have actually increased since the US began making these changes(!) And other US officials say coming attacks will not only succeed, but they will be worse than those of 9-11-01.

If this is so, then what's the purpose of pushing through a substantial reduction of American civil liberties with measures like the USA Patriot Act, and plunging the nation back into a period of chronic and devastating budget deficits?

"The world is just as dangerous today, if not more so....the threat...is a permanent condition to which this country must permanently adapt." -- Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, April 2002

-- Ridge Says Terrorism Is Permanent' (washingtonpost.com) By Ron Fournier; AP; April 29, 2002

"It's going to be worse, and a lot of people are going to die....I don't think there's a damn thing we're going to be able to do about it."

-- a U.S. counterterrorism official

-- Can We Stop the Next Attack? BY ROMESH RATNESAR; Mar. 03, 2002; Time.com

-- Patriot Act's supposed justification is gone by Peter Erlinder; May 22, 2002; Star Tribune

As disturbing as it will eventually become to many US citizens, there's substantial evidence that the US president and vice president, their staffs, Congressional allies, and friends/families already have or will directly benefit financially and politically from the 9-11-01 terrorist attacks and the legislation and policies they subsequently pushed through Congress (as well as various high profile business scandals in the headlines of the time) more than anyone else who can be linked in any way to the events.

-- Follow the Money, Bush, 9-11 and Deep Threat by Fran Shor; www.counterpunch.org; May 21, 2002

-- The Army Secretary's Business (washingtonpost.com); March 28, 2002; Page A28

-- When the Business of Business Is Politics . . . (washingtonpost.com)By Sebastian Mallaby; The Washington Post January 28, 2002; Page A21

-- Memo Shows Enron Division Headed by Army Secretary Thomas White Manipulated California Electricity Market CONTACT:  Public Citizen at www.citizen.org; 202-588-7742; MAY 8, 2002; ww.commondreams.org

-- Enron Manipulated Calif. Crisis (washingtonpost.com)

-- Docs Say Enron Was Part Of The Problem; Forbes magazine

-- Bush and Ken Lay Slip Slidin' Away By Sam Parry February 6, 2002; consortiumnews.com

-- At Enron, the Fall Came Quickly (washingtonpost.com) By Steven Pearlstein and Peter Behr; Washington Post; December 2, 2001; Page A01

-- Enron Conservatives by ROBERT L. BOROSAGE; COMMENT | February 4, 2002; The Nation Company, L.P.; http://www.thenation.com

-- Enron-gate by Molly Ivins - Creators Syndicate; 12.06.01; URL: http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemId=12461

-- Enron Spoils the Party BY MICHAEL DUFFY AND JOHN F. DICKERSON; Cathy Booth Thomas, Karen Tumulty and Michael Weisskopf reporting; Time.com; Jan. 27, 2002

-- White House Aided Enron in Dispute (washingtonpost.com) By Dana Milbank and Paul Blustein; Washington Post; January 19, 2002; Page A1; Joe Stephens, James V. Grimaldi and Lucy Shackelford contributors

-- Campaign Gifts, Lobbying Built Enron's Power In Washington (washingtonpost.com) By Dan Morgan and Juliet Eilperin; Washington Post; December 25, 2001; Page A01

-- Through Enron, Lay Left His Mark, All Right by David Morris June 12, 2002 Commondreams, citing Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 9, 2001

-- DeLay Advisers Reaped Enron Windfall By John Bresnahan and Damon Chappie; Roll Call Inc.; February 25, 2002

-- Waxman: Energy Policy Helpful to Enron By PETE YOST, Associated Press/Yahoo! News; Jan 25, 2002; US Energy policy: http://www.fe.doe.gov/general/energypolicy.shtml

-- Harold Meyerson, "Enron's Enablers," The American Prospect vol. 13 no. 3, February 11, 2002.

-- Bush 2000 Adviser Offered to Use Clout to Help Enron (washingtonpost.com) By Joe Stephens; Washington Post; February 17, 2002; Page A01; Lucy Shackelford contributor

-- NSC Aided Enron's Efforts (washingtonpost.com) By Dana Milbank and Alan Sipress; Washington Post; January 25, 2002; Page A18

-- Enron Collapse Entangles Bush Administration By Arshad Mohammed; Reuters/Yahoo!; January 10, 2002

-- Lawmakers Want Bush Away From Enron By MARCY GORDON;The Associated Press/Yahoo! Politics Headlines; January 16 2002

-- Bush Did Try to Save Enron By Sam Parry; May 29, 2002; consortiumnews.com

Virtually everyone in America (including its leaders, and intelligence and security agencies) profess shock and outrage at the attacks. But it isn't clear why everyone in the country should have been so deeply surprised by the attack.

Anti-Americanism across the world-- although often mixed with grudging admiration and even some desire to live in America-- is still pervasive, and even growing. Especially in Arab nations. At its worst there, America is seen as decadent, spreading temptation and evil throughout the globe, and helping keep corrupt governments in power in the Arab world. America's strong support of Israel also inflames many in these countries. Many Arabs feel America regards them as a people somehow inferior to Americans themselves, or even as animals to be slaughtered.

It hasn't helped matters that many Arab states have a booming population, chronically underemployed youth, failing social programs, and have enjoyed little of the economic progress and expansion seen in the west in recent decades. Increasingly, Islamic organizations are moving to fill this vacuum. And as one result Islamic fundamentalism is growing in power.

-- The Roots of Resentment Why so many people hate America By John Rossant, Pete Engardio, Dexter Roberts, Susan Postlewaite, and Paul Starobin; BusinessWeek Online; The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.; OCTOBER 1, 2001

It could be argued that the 9-11-01 terrorist attack was at least partly due to America's own ignorance and power combining with world history to make for calamity.

As the sole remaining super power, American influence is increasingly intruding into the lives of non-Americans the world over, while at the same time the average American knows less and less about the lives of those non-Americans his nation is affecting.

For example, there are terrible, unresolved, age-old conflicts in the world that continue to injure everyone in their native regions who happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, including many innocents. By virtue of our continuing push for globalization, and our alliance with Israel, we cannot avoid but get caught up in such conflicts. And thus we really shouldn't be surprised when we get bitten for it, as we did on 9-11-01.

The two major ways we might escape such consequences would be (a), to disengage from Israel and the world, turn inwards, and become devout isolationists, or (b), do everything we can to help permanently and justly resolve such conflicts worldwide, ASAP.

Option A would be the easiest to do, but probably eventually take us into an economic depression and/or allow the rest of the world to one day soon see us as their economic, technological, and military inferiors, as they continued to progress and we didn't. It might also lead to World War III, and the end of humanity as we know it.

Option B would be the hardest to do, but by varying degrees is what most modern American presidents have strived to do, or at least paid lip service to. But even the lip service seemed to end with the inauguration of our present president. And months later, we had the 9-11-01 attack.

But there's plenty of blame to go around. American citizens rarely get much history in their schooling these days. The American media for years now has focused on celebrities and scandals to the exclusion of meatier news and information about current national and world affairs.

So perhaps it's little wonder so many Americans were shocked and confused by the events of 9-11-01. But we shouldn't have been.

-- The high price of disengagement by Frank Viviano; San Francisco Chronicle, Page A-13; September 13, 2001, and others

American media must bear some of the blame for the average American being blind-sided by the events of 9-11-01. The media has often avoided or minimized coverage of events overseas, thereby helping Americans remain appallingly ignorant of many world events in which various elements of American business and government are almost inevitably involved.

-- The What-If's of Sept. 11 By Robert Parry; October 18, 2001; The Consortium On-line; The Consortium for Independent Journalism, Inc.

Indeed, despite repeated denials by President Bush and others in his Administration, evidence was mounting as of mid-2002 that the Bush Administration and/or the various security and intelligence agencies which report to it knew full well a major terrorist attack was imminent prior to 9-11-01, including many details as to how it might be executed, the identities and locations of many of the terrorists likely to participate in the attack (US agents had been closely tracking some of them for years), and what the most likely targets would be (including the World Trade Center and Pentagon). It even turned out the Administration already had the plans for invading Afghanistan in the works for weeks before the attack. They were writing up the infamous US Patriot Act before 9-11-01 as well. Keep in mind that legislation had to be rammed through a panicked and timid Congress relatively quickly in the aftermath of the attacks, else it likely would never have passed. Then there's the fact that Bush coincidentally was scheduled to be out of Washington during the attack, the anthrax used in the terror mailings apparently originated from US military stocks, and various White House staffers were put on antibiotics typically prescribed for anthrax on 9-11-01-- well before a single news report of the later anthrax mailings was ever made public.

-- Bush 9-11 Scandal for Dummies by Bernard Weiner; www.counterpunch.org; June 1, 2002

-- Intelligence Warned Bush of Hijackings Before Sept. 11; ABC News, May 16, 2002; Terry Moran, Brian Ross and Lisa Sylvester contributors

-- Bush briefed on hijacking threat before September 11 - May 15, 2002 by John King, CNN

-- Bush dumb by choice By RICK SALUTIN; May 24, 2002; The Globe and Mail, Page A19

-- W's Mind Was on Vacation by Michael Daly; From: News and Views | Beyond the City | New York Daily News Online; May 19, 2002

-- The Terrorists Flew and Bush Knew By William Rivers Pitt; t r u t h o u t | 16 May, 2002

President Bush received a report on or around August 6 2001 that specifically mentioned bin Laden-related terrorists might attempt to seize US airliners for attacks on US soil.

A report created in 1999 for the National Intelligence Council specifically contradicts statements by the Bush Administration that US intelligence agencies never considered the possibility of airliners being used by bin Laden terrorists as suicide missiles. The report also specifically mentioned the Pentagon as a potential target.

-- Aug. Memo Focused On Attacks in U.S. (washingtonpost.com) By Bob Woodward and Dan Eggen; Mike Allen, Bill Miller, Dana Priest, and Walter Pincus contributors; May 18, 2002; Page A01

A 1999 Library of Congress report for the CIA offered many details about a possible terrorist attack similar to that of 9-11-01. A couple months before 9-11-01 there was some concern on the part of a FBI agent about the unusual number of Arabs taking flight lessons in the USA, and even the speculation that bin Laden might be linked to the events.

-- 1999 report raised red flag about jet attacks - May 18, 2002; CNN

Attorney General John D. Ashcroft made sure to avoid flying on domestic commerical flights beginning in the summer of 2001 due to warnings from his FBI. Unfortunately virtually all other American citizens received no such warning.

Vice-President Cheney repeatedly asked Congress NOT to investigate the events of 9-11-01.

-- Five Questions Bush Must Answer By Richard S. Dunham; Edited by Douglas Harbrecht; MAY 20, 2002; WASHINGTON WATCH; Businessweek

-- Bush Seeks To Restrict Hill Probes Of Sept. 11 (washingtonpost.com)

Evidence is appearing that Bush has either made mistakes in his statements about the details of warnings he had of 9-11-01 prior to the event, or he has been deliberately misleading in same. Some of national security adviser Condoleezza Rice's statements regarding the events are also being contradicted by new documents coming to light.

-- Fresh September 11 revelations rock Bush by David Wastell; 19/05/2002; Telegraph Group Limited and What Went Wrong By Michael Hirsh and Michael Isikoff (Daniel Klaidman, Mark Hosenball, Eleanor Clift, John Barry, Colin Soloway, Tamara Lipper, Andy Murr, Jamie Reno, and Christopher Dickey contributors); NEWSWEEK/MSNBC, May 27, 2002

How did the US government allow the terrorist attacks of 9-11-01 to happen?

During the transition between the outgoing Clinton and incoming Bush Administrations Clinton national-security adviser Sandy Berger tried mightly to impress upon the Bush Administration's Condoleezza Rice the importance of the terrorist threat, and the need to prepare for it, going so far as to tell her "You will be spending more time on this issue than on any other." Unfortunately, Rice and the rest of the Administration afterwards chose to focus on other issues instead, such as lobbying for a national missile defense system and criticizing Iraq.

Other items on the Administration's preferred agenda included Treasury Department Secretary O'Neill wanting to reduce government financial regulation and oversight over the types of money flows preferred by organized crime and terrorists, and Attorney General Ashcroft's desire to reduce anti-terrorism efforts in favor of stronger actions in the drug war and regulation of internet content. Secretary of Defense Rumsfield personally stopped $800 million from being diverted out of the missile defense system development and into counterterrorism efforts.

-- What Went Wrong By Michael Hirsh and Michael Isikoff (Daniel Klaidman, Mark Hosenball, Eleanor Clift, John Barry, Colin Soloway, Tamara Lipper, Andy Murr, Jamie Reno, and Christopher Dickey contributors); NEWSWEEK/MSNBC, May 27, 2002

-- White House defends reaction to pre-9/11 warnings; CNN; May 18, 2002

-- Bush Fiddled While New York Burned by Michael Colby; Counterpunch.org; May 17, 2002

-- Patriot Act's supposed justification is gone by Peter Erlinder; May 22, 2002; Star Tribune

-- The USA PATRIOT Act Was Planned Before 9/11 by Jennifer Van Bergen t r u t h o u t | 20 May, 2002

It appears the US legislative process failed during the recent passage of the anti-terror bill. And the nation will probably regret this failure in the long term. Apparently Congress was too fearful of another terrorist strike to adequately perform their legal duties here. Much of the bill was passed without the members even having read it.

The new law throws the judicial system and its oversight out of the loop for many critical procedures, and makes historic changes in other government processes as well. The bill seems to be overzealous in its efforts to combat terrorism, and thereby possibly creates new and unnecessary dangers to society as a byproduct.

-- A Panicky Bill (washingtonpost.com); October 26, 2001; Page A34

The anthrax bacteria which bedeviled the USA on the heels of the 9-11-01 attacks apparently came or was derived from the USA's own original biological weapons stocks from the 1960s (the anthrax development program ended in 1969). The particular type used in the attacks is known as the Ames strain.

The main US stocks were destroyed after 1969, but samples were kept and distributed for various reasons.

-- Anthrax bacteria likely to be US military strain by Debora MacKenzie; 24 October 01; New Scientist; newscientist.com

The conservative organization Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit against the Bush Administration alleging that some White House staffers began taking Cipro (a preferred antibiotic for anthrax) on 9-11-01, and so apparently had fore-knowledge of the anthrax attacks which came later.

White House spokesperson Gordon Johndroe admitted some staffers had in fact been given Cipro on 9-11-01, but denied the White House knew of the anthrax mailings to come in the days and weeks ahead.

-- White House Faces Disclosure Suit (washingtonpost.com); June 8, 2002; Page A11; Associated Press cited

-- Weenies or Moles? Did the FBI bungle the Moussaoui investigation--or worse? by PEGGY NOONAN; May 31, 2002; Opinion Journal

-- How the FBI Blew the Case; Time.com

-- CIA Gave FBI Warning On Hijacker (washingtonpost.com)

-- FBI Warned of Sept. 11 Hijacker; ABC News

-- FBI HQ Accused of Quashing Pre-9-11 Probes; ABC News

-- Mueller: Clues Might Have Led To Sept. 11 Plot (washingtonpost.com)

-- FBI Flaws Alleged by Field Staff (washingtonpost.com)

-- FBI Memo's Details Raise New Questions (washingtonpost.com)

-- FBI Pigeonholed Agent's Request (washingtonpost.com)

-- Tearful FBI Agent Apologizes To Sept. 11 Families and Victims -- 05-30-2002

-- Bin Laden named in overlooked FBI memo Guardian

With evidence mounting of government mis-steps (or worse) in regards to the terrorist attacks of 9-11-01, FBI Director Robert Mueller has admitted there was sufficient information available to the US government to possibly have thwarted the attacks altogether.

-- Bush Proposes Cabinet Agency for Security; June 6, 2002; The Associated Press/ABCNews.com

Both President G.W. Bush and his father have had historical business relationships with the bin Laden family and other Saudi Arabian interests. FBI agents investigating some of the bin Laden family members in America for terrorist activities prior to 9-11-01 were ordered off the case by higher ups. The US State Department and CIA seemed to be frequently looking the other way as suspicious Saudi Arabian men traveled to and from the USA with impunity for years. Keep in mind G.W. Bush's father George Bush was CIA Director before he became President. [And the majority of 9-11-01 hijackers were of Saudi origin]

It seems that in the beginning these suspect Saudis were being brought into the US for terrorist training from the CIA, and then shipped out to Afghanistan to bedevil the occupying Soviet army.

The Carlyle Corporation has quickly become one of the USA's biggest defense contractors in recent years. Ex-president Bush is a paid advisor to the firm. Present President Bush previously served as a director of a Carlyle subsidiary. The Bin Laden family were part owners of Carlyle until 9-11-01, when that might have become a liability for the Bushes, at which time they withdrew from the company. As Carlyle is privately owned, it can be highly secretive in its dealings, compared to a public company.

-- Has someone been sitting on the FBI?; BBC News; found on or about 5-24-02

"What is happening in the United States took me by surprise....The United States has drawn a veil of silence over the issue of intelligence failure [in regards to the 9-11-01 terrorist attacks]"

-- Wesley Wark, expert in Canadian intelligence [Globe & Mail, 18 December 2001 cited]

Keep in mind the World Trade Center was bombed in an unsuccessful attempt to bring it down in 1993. The primary planner of the bombing later divulged to authorities alternative plans to pilot airliners into buildings like the CIA headquarters or Pentagon. A report was ordered by the Pentagon in 1993 on the subject of planes being used to attack American landmarks. In 1994 three actual attempts to strike buildings via commandeered planes (two involving airliners) were made, but foiled by various means. By 1995 the FAA and FBI both possessed information on ex-CIA operative bin Laden's plans to use hijacked airliners as weapons against civilian sites, with the World Trade Center mentioned specifically as one possibility in files seized in the Philippines.

Apparently the gist of the 9-11-01 attack plan was originally created by Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted in relation to the 1993 WTC attack on 9-11-96. Terrorists are known to have a fondness for anniversaries, and so the date 9-11 surely was marked on the calendars of some western intelligence agents as a date to watch for in raw intelligence intercepts, and take extra precautions about whenever it rolled by.

Note that as CIA HQ was frequently cited as a potential target by bin Laden's group, it's logical to assume the CIA would have paid a bit more attention to those particular terrorists than to others with more obscure targets and motivations. And this would have encouraged spending more scrutiny on airliner flight schools.

The FBI began amassing evidence of terrorists training at flight schools in 1996. Suicide flights and the use of crop dusters were also considered by authorities in 1996. This led to extraordinary security precautions being taken to protect the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta against biochemical agents delivered by crop dusters or hijacked planes being used to crash into athlete dorms or event stadiums. By contrast, virtually nothing was done prior to 9-11-01 to defend against such attacks-- although in August 2001 US intelligence agencies had at least as much in the way of terrorist warning signs as they did in 1996 (indeed, it could be argued they had much more reason to expect an attack was imminent in the summer of 2001 than 1996).

Credible warnings that bin Laden's hijacked airliners cum missile attacks on US soil (possibly against the WTC, Pentagon, or other landmarks) were imminent were received by Israeli and US intelligence six months and three months prior to 9-11-01. By some 60 days before the attack, the entirety of the US intelligence and security agencies were on full alert and expecting the threat of bin Laden's hijacked airliner suicide attacks on US landmarks to materialize within a matter of weeks.

Though warned of the risk in July 2001, an apparently corrupted FAA refused to take additional precautions with airliner flights. In August a flight school instructor notified the FBI of a suspected hijacker taking flight lessons at the school (it was Zacarias Moussaoui). He had to call them several times to get any reaction, and emphasize that a fully fueled 747 could be used as a flying bomb. Various elements of the FBI seemed unusually unwilling to get involved in the matter, or follow it up.

Unusual leniency seemed to be offered by the US INS to the hijacker leader (Mohamed Atta) as well, in his comings and goings over the US border, and his activities on US soil. The FBI was also tracking him as early as 2000. It was known that Atta had acquired materials suitable to make bombs, and possibly participated in an Israeli bombing. It's a mystery as to why Atta was not arrested, and thus the 9-11-01 attacks possibly stopped in their tracks. Similar stories can be told about other participants in the attacks. Nawaq Alhamzi and Khalid Al-Midhar, who later would be onboard the plane striking the Pentagon, were previous to 9-11-01 on a watch list and well known to both the FBI and CIA for various nefarious activities, but allowed none-the-less to come and go as they pleased.

U.S. attorney David Philip Schippers says that certain FBI agents knew months ahead of the attack details like the targets, likely dates attacks could occur, and the identities of the hijackers involved. But they were stopped by higher ups in the FBI from taking further action and even threatened with persecution if they made their information public. At that point the agents contacted Schippers for help, who then warned various members of Congress and the Senate, and tried to warn Attorney General Ashcroft a month before 9-11-01-- but Ashcroft never responded.

-- Did Bush Know Warning Signs of 9-11 and Intelligence Failures by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed - Media Monitors Network; found on or about 5-31-02

Some US military intelligence and FBI personnel say attempts to investigate certain people related to Osama bin Laden prior to 9-11-01 were stymied by higher ups.

-- FBI claims Bin Laden inquiry was frustrated by Greg Palast and David Pallister; Guardian; November 7, 2001

-- Bush took FBI agents off Laden family trail - The Times of India

-- US agents told Back off bin Ladens - smh.com.au - World

-- FBI chiefs so lax agents felt they were spies - smh.com.au

-- Agent blasts FBI over 11 September 'cover-up' ; Observer

-- Riddle of the Spores by George Monbiot; Counterpunch.org; May 21, 2002

-- Condi Lied - Pentagon Prepared for Civilian Airliner Crash in 2000; Democrats.com, citing Contingency planning Pentagon MASCAL exercise simulates scenarios in preparing for emergencies by Dennis Ryan; MDW News Service; Nov. 3, 2000; found on or about 5-24-02

-- For years, signs suggested 'that something was up'; Washington Times

-- White House given strategy two days before Sept. 11; MSNBC

-- NSA GOT 9-11 WARNING ON 9-10; New York Post

-- CIA admits foreknowledge of 9-11


-- Bush lied; UK Guardian

-- Moroccan secret agent 'predicted New York attack'; Times Online

-- S.F. attorney: Bush allowed 9-11 BY DAVID KIEFER; San Francisco Examiner; 06/11/2002

-- Timeline of Warnings to Feds of Possible Attacks; ABC News

-- Bush Aides Seek to Contain Furor (washingtonpost.com)

-- Before Sept. 11, Unshared Clues and Unshaped Policy (washingtonpost.com)

-- Missed Warnings (washingtonpost.com)

-- Bush faces 11 September fallout; BBC News

-- Study Said Hijack - Suicides Possible; New York Times

-- Call for probe into warnings on al-Qaeda By Lydia Adetunji and Edward Alden; May 16 2002; FT.com

-- Bush aides defend handling of terrorist hijack warning; Chicago Tribune

The US and others were alerted in July 2001 that terrorists might crash airliners into the Genoa summit (which President Bush was to attend) in suicide attacks.

A terrorist suicide attack using an airliner was attempted in 1994 by Algerians hoping to explode a plane over the Eiffel Tower, and Philippine police in 1996 learned of an Al Qaeda plot to seize eleven US planes at once for crashing into CIA buildings in the vicinity of Washington DC.

-- Italy Tells of Threat at Genoa Summit; LA Times; September 27 2001

-- Clues Pointed to Changing Terrorist Tactics (washingtonpost.com)

-- Echelon Gave Authorities Warning Of Attacks; Newsbytes.com


-- Suicide scenario was nothing new; MSNBC

The conservative group Judicial Watch is suing the Bush Administration and its FBI for information regarding why the anthrax treatment Cipro was dispensed to the staff of Vice President Dick Cheney over 3 weeks prior to the first public news of the US anthrax-laden mail attacks.

-- When Conservatives Sue Conservatives by Harley Sorensen; June 17, 2002; SF Gate

-- Knowing Much, Bush Did Little to Protect America by James Ridgeway; The Village Voice: Nation: Mondo Washington; May 16th, 2002

Still more troubling perhaps was the alarming series of unusual and/or at least somewhat unexplained deaths possibly related in one way or another to the 9-11-01 terrorist attack, the later anthrax mailings, the Enron scandal, the Administration's attacks on US civil liberties and due process, and other matters in which the US Presidental Administration of the time (and its various agencies) were linked to or deemed responsible for dealing with in one way or another. During the previous US Presidential Administration (Clinton's), merely a single suicide spawned a wealth of official investigative effort into the circumstances surrounding it. In mid 2002 however related US investigations into such matters were being abruptly closed if they were initiated at all-- at least so far as any public news of same was being offered.

-- The Mysterious Death Of An Enron Exec by Sharyl Attkisson; April 10, 2002; CBS Worldwide Inc.

Eleven of the world's leading microbiologists in fields such as bioterrorism, biological weapons development, and creating defenses against biological weapons died under questionable circumstances between early November 2001 and April 2002.

-- Scientists' deaths are under the microscope By ALANNA MITCHELL, SIMON COOPER AND CAROLYN ABRAHAM; Globe and Mail; Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc.; May 4, 2002 (in print edition, page A1) and others

As of 10-24-01 at least one apparently innocent man has died of "unknown causes" in a US jail, after being detained in the wide ranging roundup of foreign born people after the 9-11-01 terrorist attacks. The man was a 55 year old Pakistani, whom officials now say had no discernable links to the attacks, but did have an expired visa.

-- Investigation: Detained man dies in jail; October 24, 2001; Cable News Network

It appears very possible that on 9-11-01 hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 was shot down by a US warplane on the orders of President Bush or Vice President Cheney, rather than crashing of its own accord due to any struggle for control between terrorists and passengers, as has been the official media and public assumption. Afterwards the Bush Administration denied it was shot down, while at the same time saying President Bush had indeed ordered at the time that any plane not responding to air controllers and seeming to be a threat be shot down immediately.

The real fate of flight 93 remains enshrouded in some mystery, with a multitude of unanswered questions and apparent anomalies relating to the crash. If the plane actually was shot down, why doesn't the Administration admit it? If it really just crashed as they say, why won't they release info from the black boxes?

The mayor of Shanksville Pennsylvania near where flight 93 came down says that two locals living within a few football field lengths of the crash site-- one a Vietnam veteran-- are sure they heard a missile fly over before the crash, and the mayor himself insists F-16 fighter jets were in the vicinity at the time.

All cell phone calls from flight 93 stopped eight minutes before the crash. The FBI took the crash investigation away from the National Transportation Safety Board, and subsequently refused to release any information about what was recorded about the final moments by the plane's two black boxes. Both the FBI and NORAD deny that flight 93 was shot down.

Some area residents near enough to the flightpath to be considered witnesses to events believe flight 93 was shot down. One witness noticed the plane pass overhead, heard a boom and resulting change in engine noise, then two more booms.

A passenger in a restroom onboard flight 93 called 911 eight minutes before the crash (the last call completed from the plane), saying there'd been an explosion onboard and now there was smoke in the plane. Could the authorities have stopped or jammed all subsequent phone calls from the plane after that? The FBI seized the 911 tape and no one has addressed its message with an explanation. Debris from the plane was found miles away. If the plane was intact prior to crashing, why the long trail of debris? Metal debris was found at least half a mile away from the crash site. One of flight 93's two engines was apparently separated from the plane shortly before the crash-- much as it would have been if shot off by a missile from an F-16 fighter jet. Three Air National Guard F-16 jets were in the air and somewhere in the region during the time. The US government has offered contradictory statements about exactly where they were when flight 93 went down. A government flight controller told a New Hampshire newspaper that at least one F-16 was extremely close and in hot pursuit of flight 93 at the time of the crash. The precise location of the crash site itself seems very much like where an F-16 fighter pilot would choose to bring down such a plane if he could-- an empty field, far from any densely populated area.

According to Major Gen. Mike Haugen, the F-16 pilots in the vicinity at the time were ordered to do whatever it took to protect the White House.

Forty minutes after all planes over the US had been instructed to immediately land at the nearest airport, and following closely on the heels of flight 93's crash, a small (and to this day unidentified and incompletely explained by authorities) jet plane was seen passing overhead by many witnesses. The plane appeared to possess no indentifying markings either (which seems unusual to me but the article writer doesn't seem to delve into that aspect much).

Could this unmarked plane have been a CIA aircraft? If so, its presence onsite immediately after the airliner crashed would be an anomaly in itself, implying that the CIA perhaps had some foreknowledge of the plane's hijacked flightpath and more. Troubling questions indeed.

The Times of London, based on info from U.S. intelligence sources, said that the most likely target of the flight 93 hijackers was not anything in Washington, but a nearby nuclear power plant, such as Three Mile Island.

-- We know it crashed, but not why By WILLIAM BUNCH; November 15, 2001; Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.

Debris of flight 93 was found as far away as eight miles from the crash site.

Cheney and Bush say that the shoot down orders were not given until after three of the airliners had already struck their targets.

US military intelligence apparently was aware of the hijackings before the first plane struck a target. They may also have been aware of the possible suicide nature of the attacks, too, prior to first impact.

-- US jets were just eight minutes away from shooting down hijacked plane By Andrew Gumbel; 20 September 2001; Independent News

Investigators say that fully 92% of the remains of crew and passengers could not be separated from the site due to their thorough destruction upon impact.

-- Anthrax by Mail Study Also: Flights Banned Near Landmarks; Pentagon Improves Response to Air Threat; Town Near Flight 93 Crash Site Awaits Bush; June 27, 2002; Reuters/ABCNews.com

-- Was anthrax to blame for mail deaths?

As if all the above wasn't more than enough, the Bush Administration also appeared to be steering the US towards World War III, where the bout would be the USA versus the world. From the USA's standpoint apparently even its longtime allies would be regarded at best as lackies, and at worst as enemies-- not much different from how the US Administration seemed to view the rest of the world.

(Please note that publically classifying almost 95% of humanity as potential enemies subject to your own surprise nuclear attack is not necessarily the smart thing to do even for a superpower, circa 2002).

Beginning in 2001, the USA withdrew from a breathtaking array of international agreements (or canceled/broke same), sought an exclusive immunity for its future actions from any world court, and did much to instigate trade (or military) wars with many other nations.

The US also announced a new willingness to use nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in virtually any theater and region-- even in arbitrary first strikes against nations possessing no such technologies themselves.

The US was even attempting to exert legal and technological control and censorship over the world wide web, usurping the sovereignty of all other nations on the planet, by way of an apparently only semi-secret pact with Microsoft Corporation (the monopolist controlling virtually all the world's personal computing platform at the time) and various far-reaching regulatory and legislative claims.

-- President Bush against the world; The Globe and Mail


-- America's bid to control the world

-- Nato unease over Bush 'no-warning' attack plans; Times Online

-- Quick-Stick Doctrine (washingtonpost.com)

-- Bush Acting as Imperial President; Common Dreams

-- Why we should be worried about George W Bush [29jun02]; Daily Telegraph

-- Latest in long line of leaders targeted by US - JUNE 27, 2002; Straits Times

-- The trouble with George W - smh.com.au

-- Marooned on his fantasy island, Bush stands firm; Guardian

-- Why Europe feels left out in the cold; BBC

-- George W's bloody folly; Guardian

-- Europeans resist US call for UN immunity; Independent

-- Bush to issue 'strike first' strategy

-- Americans have more to fear than ever; Guardian

The US government's incessant urging to be on the alert for imminent terror attacks could do more harm than good. They could lead to a paranoid public fearful to carry on the normal tasks of daily life, and therefore depress economic activities of many sorts for the entire country, including travel, shopping, investing, and creation of entrepreneurial start ups. A reduction in healthy risk-taking could result from the constant warnings, leading to an economic downturn of one kind of another, as well as other detrimental consequences.

Such regularly stoked fears might also make America ripe for an effective take over of their government by enemies of democracy.

-- You Can't Help It: Our Impulse to Connect the Dots Is Pre-Wired By Rick Weiss; November 25, 2001; The Washington Post; Page B01, and other sources.

-- Stop trying to behave like a Hollywood hitman; Independent

-- Bush's speech will raise the level of violence; Scotsman

-- America is not so special that she can be allowed to shirk her obligations; Independent

-- EU Slams U.S. Threat to World War Crimes Court; Reuters

-- Women's rights pact still unratified by U.S. (June 21, 2002)

-- The US assault on world criminal court

-- U.S. veto threat 'frontal attack' on law

-- Control freaks tightening their grip on the Internet

-- Why Don't We Listen Anymore (washingtonpost.com)

Some other possibly helpful links include:

How to protect yourself, family, and friends from biological and chemical attacks, and other health threats in the early 21st century

Civilization's best defenses against war, terrorism, technological stagnation, and economic ruin

The enormous hidden costs to society of 'right-wing' political governance

More references regarding the Bush Presidency as perhaps the worst ever in US history

Back to The Signposts Timeline 2001 AD-Present...

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